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Carton Competition: Sample Write Ups

Since more complete the write-up for each entry, the better the judges will understand your entry’s development objectives and impact, these sample write-ups are provided to give you ideas on how to respond to the questions and in what sort of detail.


Sample Write-Up: General Category

Oribe, a prestige hair products company, asked us to develop a minimalist yet high-end package for their new hair care line. The objective was to achieve the look of personal stationery that blended Old World sophistication with New Age style and luxury. But cost was also a consideration, so the challenge was to create the look of embossed stationery using less expensive paperboard.

What materials did you use and why?
We used 18 pt SBS instead of a custom specialty sheet, which allowed for faster paper replenishment and eliminated the need for minimum orders, greatly reducing material costs.     

How did this package function and/or protect the product?
To maximize product integrity and eliminate possible damage to the primary container through its delivery lifecycle, a false internal top was designed into the carton to minimize product movement.

How does this package differentiate itself on the store shelf?
This product stands out on the store shelf not because of its color, flash, or shine but because of its elegance, simplicity, and approachability.

The packaging is reminiscent of fashion... of beauty... of craftsmanship... conveying the essence of old world meets new school. And by moving the ingredient list to a side of the package, we were able to keep the high-gloss bottles information-free and clean-looking.

How was design, printing, and/or the converting process used to meet objectives?
We used reverse-tuck cartons with friction, lock-top tucks. A hidden glue seam hid the white paper edge that would have disrupted the accent color border.

To establish visual continuity across the entire product line, the uncoated side of the paperboard was printed with a flood-coat of a special cream color whereas the border edges were printed in colors that matched those of each container, colors that continued onto the tuck and dust flaps, and even covered the internal panel.

A subtle, embossed background provided a textured backdrop for the combination debossed/embossed logo. It was difficult to maximize the detail in the sculpted embossing without losing the subtlety of the finer elements, but we were eventually able to make it work to our complete satisfaction.  

How did this package positively impact retail and merchandising strategies, marketing, and brand messaging?
Coordinating the colors between the primary and secondary packaging keeps the product line identifiable while maintaining brand integrity. The distinctive embossing is not only visually and tactilely pleasing but also supports the brand’s sophisticated look. Elegant and simple, the boxes look so beautiful on the shelf that they actually merchandise themselves. Yet the packaging is still approachable and easy for customers to identify.

How is this package sustainable?
All the boxes were crafted with sustainable paper from well-managed forests and printed with vegetable-based inks. The paperboard is also FSC certified but instead of printing the FSC logo on the carton—which the client did not want to do for aesthetic reasons—we instead featured the line, ”This box sourced from well-managed forests.”

—Submitted by DISC


Sample Write-Up: Eco Category


Since designating ecological sustainability as a key goal, Zotos has made it a priority to use recyclable materials and post-consumer recycled resins as a way to reduce landfill volume. So these cartons were converted from SBS to .016 WCCN recycled board, as it maintains its integrity both on the retail shelf and during shipping without the need for heavier paperboard. This substitution resulted in a savings of 2,725 pulp trees and a material cost savings of 2-3%.

The 100% recycled paperboard contains an average of 35% post consumer waste and features a smooth printing surface, which is ideal for eye-catching graphic reproduction. The smooth texture of the aqueous-coated board also contributes to problem-free filling line operation.

The cartons were also manufactured using 100% wind energy. Based upon the total projected annualized output, the environmental benefit of using wind energy for production offsets approximately 68 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to planting 61 acres of trees or not driving 157,973 miles.

This biodegradable package also features on-pack eco visuals, such as a “Carton made with 100% wind energy” logo.

—Submitted by Diamond Packaging


Sample Write-Up: Innovation Category


We holistically analyzed how baskets are presently being produced and through a partnership with engineering/automation and our converting plants, we designed a multi-component basket carrier for Smirnoff Ice that could run on existing equipment without compromising their brand message.

We leveraged the excellent print surface and handle-strength properties of CNK Carrier Kote—with the sustainable recycled paperboard properties of the insert—to provide a purposeful and balanced basket carrier.

For the insert, we utilized a specialty folder/gluer with a web-fed rotary cutter that joined the outer shell at 40% faster speeds than traditional right-angle basket gluers. Use of our web-fed flexographic press—along with a more efficient design—yielded a 30% improvement in press throughput and 30% higher efficiencies along our supply chain and logistics.

—Submitted by MeadWestvaco Corp.

North American Packaging AssociationTM


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© 2014 Copyright Paperboard Packaging Council. All Rights Reserved.